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Saturday, 10 March 2018


Dear Dame,

I have just read the Centre for Public Scrutiny report:
Change at the Council/ Independent Review of Governance for the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea”.
Whilst there are some welcome suggestions I, and a number of others were appalled to read the paragraphs below from page 18 of the report LINK

We observed a Planning Applications Committee and thought this showed the Council at its best when it comes to involving residents in meetings.
While we have heard people question the length of time allowed for residents to make presentations, the small size of the meeting, the opportunity
for residents to sit at the table and clarity in understanding the process, all suggest good practice that could be used in other council meetings.

Guy Oliver

“We also heard that, before the Grenfell disaster, some of the best moments at council meetings had been the result of public petitions, and some of
the better scrutiny meetings had been those that heard directly from the public – although we know that part of a positive experience for the public
rests on getting a response to those contributions at the meeting ………….We also observed the public being invited to sit at the table and discuss planning
applications with councillors, and we felt this worked effectively. The challenge for the Council, therefore, is to embed this good practice”

This may be an accurate account based on the observation of a single meeting, presumably one at which the Councillors were aware that they were being “scrutinised “but, as a resident, and from my own observation of planning meetings at RBKC, this is most certainly not the norm.

I have witnessed members of the public being barked at, bullied and shouted down during planning meetings ( Cllr Warwick )
There were furtive and secretive non “consultations” with the community over the cinema site.

Cllr Moylan thought it was ok to accept regular hospitality from his friend, Peter Bingle, of Terrapin Communications , who act for the developer of the cinema site and then, on 28th May 2016 , while one of the ACV cases was being heard,  he goes on national television to call the cinema “a flea pit” and that it “should be demolished.” 
Siding with the developer’s agents with whom he sups and ignoring a petition of 30,000 (equivalent to half the adult population of the borough) to save a much loved and historically significant landmark is an insult to the democratic process.

In addition, the “petitions” that are mentioned in this report were circulated by members of the community to force extraordinary general meetings of the council out of sheer frustration by the community at being ignored during the planning process most recently :

  • North Kensington Public Library
  • Save The Kensington Odeon

The CPS needs to add to your list of recommendations that there should be a basic code of Conduct for Councillors
which should include :

  • Not bullying, barking down and ignoring residents
  • No accepting hospitality from developers or their agents or having private meetings with them without council officers present.

I and others brought these concerns up at one of the so called consultation meetings by the Centre for Public Scrutiny  but perhaps these were inconvenient truths
that is was thought better not to mention in this report ?

Best wishes

Guy Oliver


  1. Clear The Swamp11 March 2018 at 05:42

    Another whitewash job. Self serving bunch of sycophants. This kind of report destroys democracy and replaces it with cynicism and alienation. Any bunch of consultants worth their salt, capable of connecting up with public opinion, could not possible have come to the conclusions written in this silly report. The planning system, for years, has been a major focus of public anger.

    Center for Public Scrutiny, please note, the Emperor has no cloths. Even though you may wish to ignore this inconvenient fact.

    1. There is a whole army of publicly funded organisations like "The Centre For Public Scrutiny" that routinely report on each other and scratch each others backs
      . This report is another glaring example of a complete waste of public money. Just like the Resident Surveys that the Royal Borough carries out that regularly show brilliant satisfaction ratings.

      Whatever happened to the Bonfire of the Quangos? Tax payers need to be given some more fire lighters.

  2. Crisis in Hornton Street and the firsts step is to bring in consultants with a brief to "give us a good report". There are at least two other sets of consultants doing reports on the organisation at the moment. Called in by the Council and paid for by the Council. Of course.

    Dizzy must think that her residents are idiots not to be able to see through this

  3. 'Centre for Public Scrutiny'? How many RBKC Councillors, solicitors et al make sure that a properly worded report is released? Checked by Messrs Moylan, Warwick, Parker... How much was this worthless exercise? Truly, though dear readers, they must think that you are all IDIOTS, and fall for this c+ap.

  4. I wonder how much of taxpayers' money was pissed against the wall to get these useless, self-promoting reports?

  5. Bruno Deflorence11 March 2018 at 12:41

    3 May 2018: time for a massive cleanup, time for the ancien régime to go.

  6. An utterly discredited report; a waste of money and time; it should be completely disregarded - and the Council should start again and do it properly. After all, this nonsense came from a post-Grenfell commitment to review and change the whole culture of contempt. Yet the researchers barely scratched the surface of the views of residents of North Kensington. Like the council, it only consulted with voluntary organisations, that do worthy work but do not live in the borough and have little idea what the average resident is going through and has had to put up with over the years.

  7. This report is full of rhetoric, platitudes and jargon Dont give up on a better future, “the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men and women do nothing”

  8. Come to the Small Hall at Kensington Town Hall at 6.30 on Monday 19 March. It is being discussed at the Executive and Corporate Services Scrutiny Committee. The public will almost certainly be allowed to give their points of view.

  9. The report says that the future policies of the Council will be decided by the manifesto of the party that controls the Council. This of course would just repeat the elected dictatorship that we have endured for years. How very strange that the report then goes on to recommend all sorts of citizen involvement. Totally contradictory.

  10. Thank heavens for Guy Oliver!

  11. This is more Tory waffle from the likes of dizzy lizzie and her troughing mates (the short of cash solicitor and the long haired Ferrari guy). Five years of Labour to bring us to our senses is what i say

  12. Clear The Swamp12 March 2018 at 10:40

    The current Tories are too thick and insensitive to learn. 50 years of monopoly has just made them a useless bunch who have lost sight of public service or the ability to empathise with residents. Clear out and flush out needed. Urgently.

    Prepare for May

  13. When Capco wanted to work 24/7 to include nights when they already worked weekends which is banned for everyone else residents objected, the so called resident friendly planning departments Miss Alison Flight told the planning committee they should ignore residents objections as they had no right to object ????

    I wonder if Capco sought planning opinion from the same friendly RBKC when they recently placed adverts for a 24/7 outdoor storage facility on what was the Earls Court site via their agents CBRE ? they soon removed the ads but it showed Capcos intentions yet the usual silence from RBKC .

    Friendly and inclusive, I have seen more friendly Cobras

    1. Spalding and co know they're in trouble in Earls Court after demolishing the Exhibition Centre, dust in residents' homes and no action from the environment department or even HSE. Homes with huge cracks and subsidence but no one has been brought to book for this.

      CapCo has every public body in their pocket as well as the Earls Court Society but with nothing to show for it. With nothing built and the land losing value COnservatives have backed the wrong horse.

      If any such person in authority take a keener look at the relationship between CapCo and the council; Environment, Planning Officers as well as Cllrs might end up in chokey.

      Few weeks back Greg Hands was photographed canvasing in Earls Court, just goes to show how dim the local association is. Bring in someone who is photographed at CapCo's showrooms tweeting "Lets get these homes built". This ward is not even in his constituency his unhealthy interest in CapCo is curious.

      There is still no answer as to why Boris Johnson, H&F & K&C Conservatives supported CapCo against the wishes of residents, small businesses and AEO who pay tax in this country.

      Kensington Chelsea COnservatives have done the numbers they know that after four years of hell for Earls Court residents they will not be voting for Conservatives with the added disaster of Grenfell tower fire, which was avoidable, this has tipped the balance.

      Vote of NO CONFIDENCE in our local Conservative councillors.

    2. RBKC - the Royal Borough of Keltbray and Capco.

    3. Candidates Standing with Sbalding are Hamish Adourian and Lloyd North neither live in the Earls Court ward. Ironic after Conservatives attacked Annabel Mullin for not living in the borough when running as a Lib Dem Kensington candidate.

      Adourian is an author connected to Colville ward. North stood twice as Colville conservative candidate in 2010 & 2014 losing to Labour.

  14. A discredited Council

  15. Dear Anonymous 16 March 2018 at 19:15,
    Indeed. Alternatively: The Rotten Borough of Keltbray and Capco.

  16. Earls Court Tory candidate Lloyd North starred in adult movies.

  17. Very sad that so few people were at the scrutiny committee's discussion of the initial CfPS report. It seemed more like a meeting of the Grenfell Scrutiny committee - with a very posh lady from Chelsea who thought the suffering of the community in north Kensington was funny.


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